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Erika Woolsey

CEO & Co-Founder, The Hydrous


Dr. Erika Woolsey is a coral reef ecologist, teacher, and CEO of the Hydrous, a San Francisco based nonprofit that uses frontier technologies like virtual reality and 3D printing to create ‘open access oceans,’ so that all people may explore, understand, and engage with marine environments that are severely threatened by climate change and human impacts. Erika has been exploring coral reefs around the world for 15 years and is particularly interested in the effects of warming temperatures on coral health. She conducted her PhD research with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia and earned her Masters of Applied Science in Coastal Management from the University of Sydney. She received a B.A. from Duke University, where she studied biology and art history.
Erika is dedicated to public engagement of science and believes the ocean is too good not to share. Recognizing the importance of translating scientific discovery into public understanding and believing that human connection to nature can change the world, she is using science, design, technology, and education to demonstrate why marine environments are worth protecting. Learn more at